SOCIETY | Zuena Kirema. Smudge Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi’s name in the criticism or ‘attack’ by Sylvia Owori and replace it with that of Zuena Kirema. It would go unnoticed. Not because Zuena is not a woman. Not because Zuena is indeed not good enough to speak on women’s issues. Not because Zuena has never done anything for society. And not because Zuena is older than Sylvia and has her glorious past well behind her.
No, it would because Zuena is the better half of Moses Ssali, a man who professes a creed and wears it on his sleeve for all to see. That creed manifests in his political inclination and heck, Bebe Cool is that unapologetic about it.
If it was Beti Kamya on that rostrum and Sylvia Owori had gone after her in the same manner and words she went after Barbie, social media would have gone hysterical with how she has deactivated Kamya’s antennae, how Sylvia Owori should join People Power, how she speaks the truth…
But Barbie is Bobi Wine’s better half, and in her place for the very exact ‘attack’ from Sylvia, social media would have been offering the ‘attacker’ more ammunition to hit the most painful spots. We would have been told that Zuena’s only claim to fame is washing Bebe Cool’s briefs after the singer has dry-humped video vixen on some rickety stage in Jinja or Mbale.
But for Barbie, the impression is that she picked Bobi Wine from the muck and turned him into the gold he is today. When social media speaks, you would think Barbie would have turned a one Yefesi Kafuko who roasts gonja at Kaburi Stand in Kamuli District into, at least, a Daniel Kalinaki, if not Gen David Muhoozi of sorts.
And these scenarios you cannot argue against. In fact, you must believe them as the gospel truth if your want your peace in cyber space and beyond.
However, there is another gospel truth that you can’t talk about in public on the back of the Sylvia ‘attack’ on Barbie without having your skin peeled off by social media users who are so vicious you would think they earned better PhD in torture than KGB agents….
… and that is that Barbie, Zuena and Zari all owe their current wealth and fame, status and influence to their liaison with their men. Which is not bad at all. In fact, if you can have a Bobi Wine, Bebe Cool or Diamond Platinumz (and Ivan Ssemwanga–RIP–before him), the heck you should grab it.
Sylvia Owori, too, has had her good servings of men. Yet it is hard to convince anyone that her claim to fame or “past glory” as we are told, is owed to any of the men. Her story is more of that woman who, to get her Sylvie Boutique the sales she craved, had a model throw on a fish net and hit a happening spot.
Eva Mbabazi had become the talk of the town and Sylvie Boutique got a lot of attention after that. Good enough there was no Simon Lokodo back then and the marketing gimmick worked.
The other thing that these women have in common is that they have all tried their hand at almost similar ventures with varying success. Does anyone remember Zuena’s show on NTV? It was so yesterday yet so distance in the past.
Yes, Barbie also had a show or something like that with Bobi Wine on Urban TV. I don’t know if Robert Kabushenga himself even remembers what the reality show was about since the rating seems to have been so bad many of the venerable stone brigade now playing atalaku (chanters in Congolese rumba music) for Bobi Wine’s political escapades hardly remember it.
Imagine the couple had conceptualised their show in the current popcorn scenario they live in. It would be trending and the rating would be so damn good if they were on NTV, NBS would triple their royalty to shift the thing to Kamwokya.
And then there was the Boss Lady something-something. Was it even on TV? Of course, even Sylvia Owori flopped on the silver screen if I am not mistaken. There was this fashion show on some station…
Outside these shows, Boss Lady also tried jewellery. The result of the store, only she knows. Her jewellery story would probably be the same for Zuena and Barbie if the two ventured there.
However, Owori has stepped up and run a national franchise that turned her name into a brand. Her Zipa Modelling Agency and Sylvie Boutique were a household item a decade ago. From allegedly having some part in costume designs for The Last King of Scotland (Hollywood movie shot in Uganda) to being the designer of Nokia Face of Africa and many enterprises, she has seen it all.
Not sure the men in her life were the reason but what holds is that Sylvia Owori’s helm at Miss Uganda franchise, her businesses and private life were thrust before public. She was criticised for her deeds by women and men alike and was a top item on tabloids.
People had their views and they expressed it. Sylvia had her dreams and she pursued them. Now it is Barbie’s time in the limelight and she will have to deal with these and much more. It is as well that it is a woman ‘attacking,’ otherwise, wouldn’t Dr Stella Nyanzi lead a match to Parliament if a man said what Sylvia said?
Somewhere, Zari is being questioned by women folk, the same that have nearly strangled Sylvia for going after Barbie, for being Tourism Ambassador. And, like Barbie, Zari did not apply to be appointed the ambassador. She got the offer and accepted, but there are women who think she is unworthy of the shot.
Why? Because in these political times, Zari is more concerned about how many more decades she can subtract from her true age with Halloween-like makeup than with CMI and SFC agents are doing to Ugandans. Should Zari declare her support for Opposition, you will see people asking her to stand for Jinja Woman MP seat in 2021.
So would Zuena…
Uganda is a true experiment in socio-political yoyo.